C.S. Lewis quoted: “Be thankful for difficult times. During those times you grow. Be thankful for your limitations, because they give you opportunities for improvement. Be thankful for each new challenge, because it will build your strength and character. Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons.”
When I was in kindergarten, my principal called me into the office to see her. Her name was Miss Crane. I was concerned, as I was sure that I was in a heap of trouble. To my surprise she handed me a pad of paper and a pencil, remembering back, both seemed very large to me. Then again, I was very small.
She proceeded to tell me to be aware of thoughts that come to mind, and to be sure to write those thoughts down in this pad. She said I believe that you are going to be a writer someday. Miss Crane very confidently said, poems, plays, books. I believe that you have a gift to write. I wish I could say that I was excited, directed, or even happy to hear this news. At the ripe age of 5, I sat relieved that I was not in any trouble and sat groveling with the idea that I did not yet know how to write the word, Margaret.
As time went on, I became more and more thankful, I never forgot these words of encouragement that she had given me that day. By 3rd grade I had written several poems, had one published and wrote the 6th grade play that our class performed for families of our class, many plays since then. I wrote for the local newspaper, published 3 books, went on to write my whole life.
This road to fulfill what I had been told I would do, did not come easy, as C.S. Lewis stated, many lessons I learned through trials and tribulations in my life.
When we are thankful for all that we have learned through our trials, we may embrace the gifts that He has given us. Usually -so that we may touch the lives of someone else.
A gift to write lives on forever, people are able to read thousands of years after you have written a message, long after you are gone. What a treasure, to continue to encourage, entertain, and direct another needy life, long after you have finished your race! Our message lives on forever, like the gospel message, written thousands of years ago. People today are still being refreshed, renewed, saved and delivered, long after the inspired writers have gone.
I am especially thankful this season for that message of the gospel, which was inspired by the Holy Spirit.I am also thankful for the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for each one of us, He chose to sacrifice His life, die in our place, then beat death by rising again to the Father. He is a risen, living Savior. I am so thankful that my soul can live on forever, just like my writing. I thank God for the gift of eternal life!
When we are young, we have dreams that we will be a singer, a writer, or whatever our dreams may be. Then we meet someone, fall in love and if we have not asked God first, may end up with a partner who is not united with our dreams, let’s face it, that may happen even if we have asked God. We do not always hear His direction clearly or obey His direction. God says in His word not to be unequally yoked to a partner, 2 Corinthians 6:14 and it is referring to someone who does not believe the same as you do, also in Amos 3:3: “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to meet.” Partners should share the destiny that God has for both of them. The ideal is that we come together because God has matched us up with someone. This is best to be covered in prayer well in advance. Even if partners are meant to be together , the road may still be rough. Only God can make those roads straight. So we need to put Him first in all relationships. When some partners try to overrule or use an abuse of power over the other partner, it becomes a destiny robbing, atmosphere, dreams may be torn down, partners become powerless. One person is trying to misuse that power at the expense of their partner and it becomes a terrible misrule in those situations. It is a toxic, traumatic atmosphere. People thought they were in love, yet they are being hurt by the one they pledged their life and loyalty to. Some people may be healed with lots of help, but the abused partner should never stay in that environment while the healing is taking place, it is not safe.
If there is anyone out there who may be in a situation where you no longer feel safe because you are being mistreated by your partner, there is help out there for you. First, God sees everything and He wants you to fulfill your destiny and your dreams that He has given you! You are not alone!
Everyone reacts to grief differently. Grief is a common response to losses in our lives. Grief is both a universal and a personal experience. Individual experiences of grief vary and are influenced by the nature of the loss. (Mayo)
The Mayo Clinic defines grief as a strong, sometimes overwhelming emotion for people, regardless of whether their sadness stems from a loss of a loved one or from a terminal diagnosis they or someone they loved have received. (Mayo)
People grieve many other things like a loss of a friend, spouse, job, or transitioning from one stage of life to another may incite a tremendous loss to an individual.
With every painful experience we endure in life, we have to make sure that we work through the process of grieving, however tedious it may be for some people. Denial is a popular place for some people to park. After all, maybe I will be ready to deal with some of these things better in a few months, years in some cases, this is not advisable.
Here are three techniques offered by Mark Tyrell for grief counseling.
1. Let the people talk about the grieved. What were their likes and dislikes, what would they be doing now if they were still with you? What did they love about the person? 2. While someone remembers the person, or the trauma of their death, help them to look at the whole picture, help them to stop reliving those traumatic final moments -ie “the final punctuation mark in a sentence does not need to define the rest of the story.” Help client by teaching them techniques to dedramatize. For Christians, they are in a more peaceful place for eternity and no more tears to be shed. (Revelation 21:4)”He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” 3. Help them to deal with the guilt. Let them vent about things that were unresolved with the relationship. Lack of closure can be set in a journal privately; I have found this most helpful. Honor someone’s life by taking care of themselves. Many people have to realize the best care of your own self is a way to continue on the legacy of the lost loved one. Talk about yourself, what emotions you are left with from the loss, sometimes it’s ok to set a grieving date where those grieving only think about the loved one for a set period of time, to help them to transition from grieving all the time. Help your client to let go of the past so they can better embrace the present. I teach this method all of the time.
Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “I know this is God’s promise to us, trusting Him at His word and focusing on the fact that “this too shall pass.”
Other stages of grief that the grieving loved ones may experience are anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. As a clinician I have seen these reactions come to life at all different times while grieving. Not necessarily in an order either, so some stages maybe be prolonged, as mentioned earlier with denial. We try to help people walk through whatever stage they may be in. 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” As heavy as the grief may seem to be, almost suffocating at times, it is important to know that Jesus wants to carry that heaviness for every one of us.
God is our comfort, our rock, our very present help in our time of need. Psalm 18:2 “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” NIV
I encourage all my clients to journal. Talk daily in the journal about those painful memories, all the losses, systematically identify the various emotions that need attending to, and grieve all the loss and all of the pain and let it all go to Jesus. This is a process, sometimes the letting go may have to be repeated multiple times. But work through it to freedom. I am so sorry for all your pain, and loss.
If you have not asked Jesus into your heart, to forgive you of all shortcomings, for getting stuck in the pain, and to be Lord of your life, He will come into your heart, fill you with His Holy Spirit and comfort you, forever more.
“God blesses those people who refuse evil advice and won’t follow sinners or join in at sneering at God. Instead the law of the Lord makes them happy, and they think about it day and night. They are like trees
growing beside a stream, trees that produce fruit in season and always have leaves. Those people succeed in everything that they do.” Psalms 1:1-3
This verse has been a favorite verse all my life.
In John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” Revelation 22:1,2 “The angel showed me a river that was crystal clear and it’s waters gave life. The river came from the throne where God and the Lamb were seated then it flowed down the middle of the city’s main st. On each side of the river are trees that grow a different fruit every month of the year. The fruit gives life, and the leaves are used as medicine to heal the nations.
The water of life comes from the throne (royal seat) of God and of Christ. So, it’s source is God, and God has provided a plentiful supply. It flows through the main street of New Jerusalem. The tree of life grows by the river. Reading this made me think of how symbolic it was when Jesus cursed the fig tree that did not bear fruit, we are supposed to bear fruit aren’t we?
I started studying some of the oldest trees on earth. What these trees have seen in their lifetime. If they could talk and tell us the history that has unfolded around them. Methuselah is a Great Basin bristlecone pine that is the oldest living tree in the world, with the age of 4,851 years, California. The President, a giant sequoia that is about 3,200 years old-also in California. In Bethlehem, there is an olive tree confirmed to be at least 2000 years old may actually be as old as 4000 years. The Sisters in Lebanon, up to 6000 years old. It’s quite incredible.
We shall be like trees, firmly planted by the rivers of water, (waters of life), and we shall live forever for all eternity because we have accepted Christ Jesus as Lord and savior of our lives! That would surpass the Sister’s in Lebanon. Praise God! Give your life to Jesus today, He will forgive you of your sins, believe that He rose from death just for you, He will fill you with His Holy Spirit and someday He will return for all those who believe, those living trees!